“It’s going to be very interesting,” said a cautious Nic White, just after completing his first “recce” over the Ride Crater Cruise course. “It’s not as straightforward as a lot of people think, just because it’s mainly over sand roads.”

White pointed out that the sand roads “may be wide, but there are only one or two proper lines through them, so that’s what I mean by saying “it’s going to be very interesting.”

The excitement for the Crater Cruise, which takes place in Parys on Saturday, has grown steadily, and that could provide the spark for a really great inaugural race  “because most of the guys are approaching the race with a positive attitude and that means a lot of fun on the day.”

“I think they might try to race a bit in the first half, but the second half is going to be really tough and, after all the pounding and the extra kays, there are going to be some very sore and tired legs the next day,” he continued.

White is convinced that “the winner will be a mountain-biker with quite a bit of experience of road riding; they’ll have a better eye for the right tracks on the sand roads.”

The course has a somewhat seductive nature according to the HSBC team captain. “The first part is there to sort-of soften you up and then just when you think you’ve got it waxed, you’ll need all your strength and endurance to get through the second half!”

White is positive that there won’t be any road style attacks and counter-attacks during the latter part of the race, “we’re going to see lone riders and pairs dotted everywhere, just hanging on like grim death.”

The efforts of the organisers of the Ride Crater Cruise to synchronise the competitive needs of both roadies and mountain-bikers certainly appear to have succeeded totally.